Do you ever feel so full of sadness and yet hope at the same time? Only God can do that and make something beautiful out of what is pure ugly. My heart is heavy …
I went to church yesterday, fully aware of my own evil heart and the disobedience in my life that has led to sin. I was so ashamed. I couldn’t even look into the eyes of others, knowing that I was not worthy of their smiles and approval. It suddenly felt so fake and I felt physically ill. And all I kept thinking was “If they only knew …” Trouble is, I don’t want people to know me. To know my heart. To do that would be to admit how very far from perfect I am.
To live the way Christ calls us is impossible. I know that. But I know I have held judgment for people in my heart … and expect them to do the same. But Jesus teaches a different way: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.” It is God’s role to judge, not ours. We should show forgiveness and compassion. I am not saying this because I deserve compassion but because I am learning to have compassion on others. By recognizing my sinful nature, and being honest with myself, with God and even others about it, I can accept Christ’s forgiveness and, therefore, forgive others … or simply love them genuinely, rather than selfishly.
It’s not easy. We are weak. I am weak. But it is in my weaknesses that God can be glorified. I have no ability on my own to overcome sin. And without Jesus we would have no hope at all! But He has declared us not guilty and offered us freedom from sin and the power to do His will. Daily I have to consciously choose to focus on God and put His will before my own.
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:32-39